Cary man saves woman's life on Frontier Airlines flight despite required item missing from plane's medical kit

24 April 2022

— Seth Coley frequently travels as part of his responsibilities as a professional extreme athlete.

Last month, Coley was flying on a Frontier Airlines flight from Arizona to Las Vegas when a young woman stopped breathing. A flight attendant yelled for medical help.

“I was shocked that I was the only one that really knew what to do,” Coley said.

Coley, who grew up in Cary, is trained as a wilderness first responder. When someone brought Coley the plane’s medical kit, a key item he needed was missing. He needed an oropharyngeal airway or a nasopharyngeal airway.

“Both of those systems are basically a straw for your nose or mouth, and it basically forces an airway open,” Coley said.

Coley was still able to get the woman breathing again by manipulating her neck and airway. He said he used basic lifesaving skills.

The Federal Aviation Administration said there must be a medical kit on board of a flight with 26 items. A plane cannot take off without the required items unless the FAA makes an exemption. Airlines risk receiving a fine for not following the rules.

However, when Coley called and emailed Frontier Airlines to discuss his concerns, he got an automated response. So, he posted about it on Facebook to get Frontier Airlines’ attention.

“I saved somebody’s life on your flight,” Coley wrote. “I figured that would get your attention. Clearly, it hasn’t.”

Frontier Airlines would not address this specific situation, but sent WRAL News the following statement:

“It is a regulatory requirement to have specific emergency and first aid equipment on an aircraft and the required equipment is the same for all airlines. If any equipment is missing, a flight cannot be dispatched. In addition to multiple first aid kits on board, each aircraft has a medical kit that contains several types of medication. Flight attendants are thoroughly trained to handle medical situations. It should be noted that it is standard procedure to always solicit assistance from any trained medical professionals who may be on the flight. Airlines are very grateful and appreciative when medical professionals step forward and offer to assist.”

Coley said Frontier has all of his contact information and he hopes they will reach out to him about his concerns. He also gave his information to the woman whose life he saved. Coley has not heard from her, but said he would love to know how she is doing.

This post was originally published on this site

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